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Fri, May. 29th, 2009, 03:34 pm
tapakidney: New horn

Hey everyone. I have never been much into equipment- I've played on the same horn, same mouthpiece since the beginning. My stuff is a Yamaha 668N with a Farkas MC, and they have served me well for 14 years. Now, I don't know if it's just gotten too beaten up, the acids in my skin and saliva have messed it up, or what, but I feel it's finally time to upgrade. I just feel as if I have hit a wall and cannot make progress any more. Maybe I need a lesson...maybe I should go to MORE school (yeah, right...).

So, the point: I would like to find a horn that expands upon what is good about the 668. I would love to maintain a good, full, rich sound for orchestral playing but also be able to keep things delicate for chamber playing. Is it even possible for a horn to excel in both extremes? I always felt I could do both pretty well with the 668, but wonder if there is better.

Now, my biggest flaws are accuracy and endurance. I used to be more accurate, but then I started playing louder (because I was just too chamber-y) I hate going to an audition and playing making mistakes that just SHOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED. On top of that, I have always had trouble getting through both repeats of the Brandenburg Trio, endurance-wise.

I admit, I have tried only 1 other horn, and that was for 5 minutes in a masterclass. It was Gail Williams' (I THINK) Karl Hill. Does anyone know exactly what Hill model she plays? Well, I liked it quite a bit. I also hear those are hard to get a hold of.

Would a custom 668 be a good possibility? A 667? Please help me out, as I am pretty clueless at the moment!

Oh, and I guess it's important to mention that my ultimate goal is to land an orchestra job. Large or chamber...That might narrow the horn choices down a tiny bit...

Fri, May. 29th, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)

Well, according to your userinfo you're in Bloomington, Indiana. I'd suggest making an appointment with Pro Winds to sit down and try out several horns. Judging from their website they carry Jupiter, Conn, Holton, and Yamaha.

You're fortunate to have such a resource in your backyard... not every city has a well-stocked instrument showroom!

Sun, May. 31st, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)

I highly recommend a Yamaha 667VLS. (Btw, i'm really thrilled that you play on a Yamaha! I do too!) the 667lvs is a solid horn. It's awesome for chamber stuff, but it's open and free blowing, so you can get that big, fat orchestral sound...and all that beautiful, beautiful zich when you get SUPER loud (mmmm...i looove it).

My ex is at Northwestern studying with Gail, lemme try to get a hold of him, and i'll let you know ASAP what model she plays on :) Hills are amazing horns :)

Also, check out Atkinson. I know they're kind of the underdog, but i played on their model that is modeled after the old Kruspe horn. You might like that, since the 668 is a Kruspe wrap horn. OH, which reminds me of another reason i love the YHR667VLS, it's a Geyer wrap. I love geyer wrap horns--long lead pipe--adds to the fullness of the sound.

I'll definitely get back to you with Gail's Hill model.

OH, Rauch is good too. My teacher plays a Rauch (she's 4th in detroit, and just won 4th in Philly. she was also one of two finalists for the second horn spot in Boston, but they didn't take anyone)

ok, i'll stop now ;D

Sun, May. 31st, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)

Thanks for the input! Yeah, I have been setting my sights on the Geyer style since my research began. And I sent Gail an email and found out the horn - a Hill Geyer...She only plays Hill horns and has 2 of his Geyers...man, wonder if i could talk her into selling me one! : )

Do you know of any good mouthpiece situations - something like getting a bunch of rims and cups and trying them all out on a trial basis? I could swear I have heard of something like that...

Sun, May. 31st, 2009 01:19 pm (UTC)

i've heard of that, but i'm not sure how to go about doing that.
I would assume you'd just call or shoot an e-mail to one of the mouthpiece companies explaining that you'd like to try out a bunch--i'm sure they get that a lot. You may need to pay them half the cost of the rim/cup just so they know that you really are trying it out and not trying to rip them off, you know...kinda like a security deposit. Then if you like it, you pay the remaining cost, if you don't, you get your dollaz back.

I'm thinking maybe Moosewood or companies like them probably do something like that.
Hah, i've been playing on the same mouthpiece since 8th grade...i should probably go mouthpiece hunting, too.... :/

Mon, Jun. 1st, 2009 03:34 pm (UTC)

I won't be able to visit with my fellow horns until fall, but I just wanted to chime in: I love my 668, it is so flexible. But I am in the same situation you are. I think it may be time to improve my equipment, so I'm watching this thread, too.

Thu, Jun. 4th, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)

Finke! I love Finke horns. Wish I had the money for one.

Or there's the new Durk. It's a Horner model, so it's built like an 8D/668.

Sun, Jun. 28th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)

I have a Dieter Otto that I love. Check out http://web.mac.com/siegfriedscall/SiegfriedsCall/Cover.html (siegfriedscall.com). That's where I got my horn, and there are some pretty kick ass german horns there. I looked all over for a new horn until I went there and it was amazing.

Fri, Sep. 18th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)

try a new (but the same) mouthpiece. i've only been playing on my mouthpiece for 3 years, and i totally didn't realize how worn down it was until i tried a brand new one! makes so much difference :)